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An Orange Sky at St Peter’s

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A free, mobile laundry and shower bus for rough sleepers has started up in Auckland, with its inaugural operation starting at St Peter’s Anglican Church last month. The plan is to be in Onehunga every week, and rotate around other areas in Auckland on a regular basis.

Petra Zaleski, Vicar at St Peter’s, says “It was an incredible morning. Every Thursday morning at St Peter’s the truck will pull up for laundry, showers and chat, no agenda, and no one will be turned away.”

 

The Orange Sky laundry bus is a charity, run by volunteers. They rely on donations, although the New Zealand initiative is partly funded by the Ministry of Housing and Funding Development. Set up in Australia four years ago, there are already 27 buses operating throughout cities and remote areas. Its organisers plan to bring more buses to New Zealand. 

The buses are custom-fitted with a shower, washing machines and dryers. They usually plug into power and water at the locations they are in, but if this is not available, they have on-board generators and water tanks. 

Not only does the bus give rough sleepers the chance to wash and dry their clothes, and have a hot shower, the operation creates a safe, positive and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or who feel disconnected from the community, say organisers.

Petra Zaleski, Vicar at St Peter’s says the church porch is home to a group of rough sleepers. “St Peter’s works with this growing social concern on our doorstep.”

She says, “Orange Sky felt like a bright light into a dark space for our friends in the community.”

To find out more, and donate, go to www.orangesky.org.nz 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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